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How Do I Fix Water Stains on the Ceiling?

How Do I Fix Water Stains on the Ceiling?

What can I do about water stains on the ceiling?

One of the last things a homeowner wants to see when he or she looks up is water damage on the ceiling: yellow, discolored rings and blotches marring that otherwise uniform surface. It could be a plumbing leak, an enthusiastic bather, a roof failure or a siding malfunction. Whatever the cause, it is something many of us will have to deal with at some point. So, what can you do about water stains on the ceiling?

How to Deal with Water Stains on the Ceiling

The first thing you need to do if you have water damage on your ceiling is track down and rectify the source of the water. It may sound obvious, but it's worth saying: if you repair the damage without stopping the source of water entry, you will only end up with the same problem on your hands again... or worse!

If your water damage is near or under a water fixture of some kind (tub, shower, sink, etc.), contact a plumber to see if you have a leak. If there is no plumbing in that part of the house, talk to a roofing contractor for an inspection.

Remediating Water Damage on Ceilings

Once you are confident that no more water is leaking, assess the damage. If the drywall or plaster is still wet, you will need to wait for it to dry, or run a dehumidifier in the area. See if there are any signs of mildew or mold. For minor occurrences of these fungi, wash the area with a mild bleach solution. If it is serious or widespread, consider talking to a professional to make sure it is dealt with properly. The health problems that mold can cause are no small matter.

water damage on a popcorn ceilingIf the drywall or plaster is sagging, bulging or otherwise showing structural problems, a drywall contractor or a professional house painter can repair the damage for you. If there is no evident problem of this type, you are ready to proceed to the next step.

To cover over the water stains, use a stain-blocking primer on the affected areas. Kilz and Zinsser both offer ceiling paints for this purpose. Kilz has a product called Upshot, which is a spray-on ceiling paint designed to match an aged white ceiling. Make sure you use tape and tarps to cover anything you don't want paint on, and spray, brush or roll on the primer. Read the label to see if you need to ventilate the room during use.

After the primer has been applied, see if you need another coat. Are there still signs of water damage on the ceiling? Usually two coats would be the most you need.

Now that the primer is dried, step back and take a look. If you can't see a difference between the repair and the rest of the ceiling, leave it alone; you're done! More likely, however, is that you will need to paint the whole ceiling in order to get a pleasant, uniform finish.

Not Interested in the Do-it-yourself Ceiling Repair option?

If this process is not for you, simply call one of the many professional painting companies in the San Francisco area. MB JESSEE would be happy to come to your home to help you evaluate the water damage and create a plan for remediating the situation.

Another item you may want to consider at the same time, if you have water damage on your ceiling, is the removal of popcorn ceiling texture. A professional house painter could get rid of your water damage and your outdated ceiling texture all at the same time!

MB JESSEE is a San Francisco house painting company, serving the East Bay area, as well as Contra Costa, Danville, Marin, Hillsborough and more. Contact us for a free estimate for interior or exterior painting services. We promise, you won't be disappointed by our service!

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